Monday, April 06, 2009

Fat slags

No, No, No! Wrong, wrong, wrong. Thou shalt not 'diss' thy food. The least I can do for these gals is show them some respect as they head towards my table - not as guests but as dinner itself.They are now nearly 20 weeks old and ready for the table. Their growth rate has been phenomenal; they were bred to put on weight quickly, economically and in the right places. They have done just that and are now plump in breast and thigh - they'll probably 'dress-out' at about 7 - 8lbs per bird. That's a lot of chicken.

Selective breeding brings its own problems of course - rapid weight gain has slowed them down almost to the point of discomfort. I'm not sure I'm 100% happy with this aspect of food production.

Like their overweight human counterparts they waddle inelegantly from bed to food - the sheer effort precluding much more than a sedentary existence now. They seem content enough, sitting in their strawed hut or, like yesterday, outside in the late afternoon sunshine. When I say good bye to them tomorrow I can be fairly confident that they have had good but brief lives; clean, well- fed and watered. I might add that these girls turned up their beaks at kitchen scraps - no junk food for them - only the finest 'fatteners' pellets would do.

Tomorrow then sees them despatched, plucked and drawn - the start of the journey to our table. I am just a little apprehensive for while I know they have had a good life I want to be sure they have a good death too. (If there can be such a thing.)

We'll be enjoying chicken for some time I think. We've had to buy a new deep freeze to store them in. Why do my money-saving schemes always end up costing money?

12 comments:

Pam said...

I'm not sure how I'd feel about sending them off but if we eat meat we should really have the guts to farm it too. It's nice knowing they aren't pumped full of chemicals for one. Good luck!

Calico Kate said...

That last comment did make me laugh I soooo know what you mean! Well done you for doing this though.
CKx

elizabethm said...

Well send your chickens on their way with a toast from me. I love the need for a new deep freeze! this is so much how it happens for me! Bet they taste good and you know at least that they have had a good life.

Mopsa said...

Ah, but the freezer will be there for many more chicken dinners to come, so a sound investment. Will you be doing the dispatching/plucking/eviscerating?

hand-knitted muesli said...

Wise choice to send them away. I watched my neighbour dispatch some of my surplus chickens and then was encouraged to have a go myself! Never again, chicken should be 'ready to use'

Pondside said...

We've been raising and eating our own for several years now. Our girls are pretty heavy and slow moving too, but I know that they have a good life, live in relative luxury - fresh well water, sunshine, green grass and a hay-filled bed at night.
When the fruit comes into season you can fill that deep freeze with pies and bags of sliced fruit to last you the winter.

KittyB said...

Too true about these schemes always costing money. However, think of all the raspberries, brambles and cooked fruits you can store in the autumn.
Poor old girls, when they're bred for meat and not speed the kindest thing is to dispatch them quickly! Enjoy your chicken dinners!

Preseli Mags said...

They look utterly fabulous in the photograph. Big strong legs, smart, clean feathers. I'm pretty sure "normal" chickens don't look that good before the inevitable. I'm sure their five star lifestyle will show up in the taste too!

Wipso said...

Memories came flooding back whilst reading your blog. I well remember coming home from primary school [just a few years back....I wish!!] to find the chicken I had chosen to name Banty as a 'pet' had been served up as dinner that day. I have a feeling I did a lot of 'growing up' that day.

Nikki-ann said...

Have they now been dispatched? Did you do it yourself? I don't think I could ever do that... I obviously get it from my Dad who used to run away as far as possible from home when they killed a pig when he was a kid!

Still, I bet those chickens will taste delicious!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Gosh that went quickly didn't it? doesnt seem five minutes since they arrived!

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